Spinal cord injuries are among the worst kinds of injury. They can happen at any time to anyone, causing life-changing and debilitating changes to your entire body. When injuries of this nature occur, it is best to consult with a Antelope Valley spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are roughly 17,700 new spinal cord injuries reported each year. Car accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. They also can result from slips and falls, acts of violence, medical errors, and playing recreational and competitive sports.
Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, a person with a spinal cord injury can expect just over $1 million in medical expenses for the first year alone. Each subsequent year is estimated to cost around $184,891. Estimated lifetime medical expenses for spinal cord injuries range from $1.5 to $4.7 million depending on the kind of spinal injury. This is just for medical expenses and does not include any indirect costs such as a loss in wages due if your spinal cord injury prevents you from working.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, reach out to our team of spinal cord injury lawyers at Kuzyk Law to determine the best course of action. Our knowledgeable team of spinal cord injury lawyers will explore options for obtaining financial compensation for your physical injuries and losses, including but not limited to the filing of a lawsuit if your injuries are the result of an accident caused by a negligent party.
Call Kuzyk Law Right Away For a Free Consultation! (661) 945-6969
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is the result of any trauma or damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerve fibers and tissue contained in the spine that sends signals from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord and the brain work together as the body’s central nervous system. It is responsible for transmitting signals for basic and complex bodily functions that control our sensory, motor, and reflex capabilities.
People with spinal cord injuries can experience the following symptoms, dependent on where the spinal cord is damaged and the severity of the damage:
- Numbness in the arms and legs
- Tingling sensations throughout the body
- Loss of sensation (heat, cold, touch)
- Pain and/or weakness
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty breathing
- Change to or loss of sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
The spinal cord is extremely sensitive to injury. And, unlike other body parts, it is unable to repair itself once damaged. Trauma to the spine, loss of normal blood flow to the spinal cord, compression, and infection all can damage the spinal cord and proper central nervous system functioning.
With spinal cord injuries, the higher up the spine they occur, the more likely they will affect greater portions of your body. People with spinal cord injuries suffer from partial or full paralysis depending on the location of their injury.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries:
- Complete – There is no sensation or voluntary movement in the body below the point of injury.
- Partial – Some sensation, function, or control is possible below the point of injury.
The nerves of the spinal cord are split into three sections, with each section controlling a different function in the body.
The high cervical nerves are located in the C1-C4 vertebra of your neck. Spinal cord injuries in this area are considered the most severe and impact the most areas of the body. People living with C1-C4 spinal cord injuries require complete assistance with daily living activities. The low cervical nerves are located at the C5-C8 vertebra and control the arms and hands. A person with a spinal cord injury in this area can breathe on their own and has limited control over their arms and hands.
Nerves located between the T1 and T12 vertebra of the spine are classified as thoracic nerves. Located in the mid-back, they control areas in the upper chest, mid-back, and abdomen. Arm and hand function in someone with a thoracic spine injury is usually normal. Paralysis is common in the trunk and legs, requiring the use of a wheelchair or other assistive device.
Lumbar nerves are those located from the L1 to the L5 vertebrae of the spine in the lower back. Injuries to these nerves normally result in the partial or full loss of control of the hips and legs.
Treatment For Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, damage to the spinal cord is permanent. Groundbreaking research currently is being conducted into the use of stem cells and riluzole. Riluzole is showing promise as a treatment to prevent further injury and damage to the spinal cord.
People living with spinal cord injuries, depending on the type and severity, may benefit from rehabilitation services, including:
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles
- Occupational therapy for fine motor skills
- Vocational therapy to help spinal cord injury patients get back to work
- Recreational therapy, including physical and social activities
- Electrical stimulation to assist with restoring neuromuscular, sensory, and autonomic function
Individuals with spinal cord injuries also may benefit from the use of adaptive devices to assist with communication and mobility.
Medical insurance does not always fully cover the costs of rehabilitation and adaptive devices needed to function. Insurance companies are focused on their bottom line, and often will only cover immediate medical expenses. Our team of lawyers can assist with ensuring you receive the level of care needed to live with your injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries And California Law
If your spinal cord injury was the result of an action or inaction of another party, Kuzyk Law will prepare a lawsuit against the negligent party that proves they are at fault. Negligence cases can result in the collection of monetary damages for lost wages, future lost wages, prospective medical care, and ongoing pain and suffering.
Our expertise in this area makes us an ideal choice for Antelope Valley residents. Our firm serves Lancaster, Little Rock, Pearblossom, Lake Los Angeles, Quartz Hill, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and surrounding communities.
Ready To Take Action?
At Kuzyk Law, our Antelope Valley spinal cord injury lawyers have assisted spinal cord injury clients in getting the compensation they deserve since 1971. We can help obtain benefits that will assist with your ongoing medical and daily living needs. Contact us as soon after your accident as possible, and document everything pertaining to your injury for later use.
Contact us today online or by calling (661) 945-6969. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of professionals is available 365 days per year, 24 hours a day.